Over 19,000 students in a West Virginia school district got the day off Monday after a cyberattack hit the school district Friday, according to local news.
The Berkeley County Schools suffered a network outage which affected IT operations across the school system, WV Metro News reported. On Friday, Superintendent Ron Stephens said the district was “working diligently to restore operations” as they investigated the “cause and scope” of the cyber issues.
Personal data on the students may have been harvested in the cyberattack, he warned in a statement, according to the outlet. “If it is determined that there was unauthorized access to sensitive personal information, we will notify individuals in accordance with applicable laws,” Stephens said, adding that the school system does “not know if any personal data has been breached at this time.”
The superintendent noted that the school system is collaborating with cybersecurity professionals and law enforcement in its investigation.
The internet outage affected the usability of internet and phone communications across the school district on Friday. (RELATED: Russian Hackers May Have Blown Up A Massive Natural Gas Facility In Texas: REPORT)
Commenting on the school district’s Facebook page, one user noted the impact a network outage can have on the daily operations of a school. “People need to remember technology in the school system extends well beyond in the classroom. Security cameras, badge readers for doors, phones, hvac functions, etc… can all depend on the network,” the user wrote.
Another user drew attention to the possibility that hackers could access the “attendance system, complete set of student records, you know things that keep a student safe.”